AI IRL Podcast Episode 26: How Botsociety’s Innovative Solution is Changing Conversational Design
We often touch on the opportunity to leverage AI to create a better user experience.
On the latest episode of AI:IRL, I invited Vittorio Banfi, a great subject-matter expert, to add to that conversation. Vittorio brings an interesting perspective on the mix of user interface and user design.
Vittorio talked about his company, Botsociety, and how it came to be. He also shared two great points to keep in mind as you start experimenting with AI solutions in your own company.
Here’s what he had to say.
Creating Their Own Solution:
Vittorio and his business partner started an agency that was building chatbots and voice assistants for large companies in Los Angeles.
As they were working through the conversational design process, they realized there were a couple of issues that needed to be solved.
As you design these experiences, you need to be able to share the designs with engineers, marketers, and other stakeholders — in a way they can understand.
And you can’t just use Photoshop or Sketch because these designs are fundamentally different from any other — you can’t display a conversation like you would any other type of design.
Vittorio and his partner kept expecting someone in Silicon Valley to create an innovative tool to solve these issues..
Yet, no one did.
So, they decided to tackle the problem themselves.
They created Botsociety, a design solution specifically created for these types of interactions.
Today, over 2 million messages have been designed on their platform.
“Every company will need to become a tech company.”
The 2 Reasons People Use Botsociety:
Conversational design is reminiscent of web design in 1996.
Back then, everybody was experimenting, trying to figure out what the web was and how to design it for the best experience possible.
We see the same thing happening in the conversational space today. There’s a world of design opportunities out there, so there’s a lot of experimentation happening through the Botsociety platform.
2: Expand Understanding to Other Stakeholders
Another parallel we see between website design and conversational design today is an effort to bring functions — like marketing and sales — into an understanding of how the interfaces work. There’s an effort to try to get more people into conversational design, not necessarily to design flows, but to understand what it is and how to use it.
Enabling that experimentation and understanding through an easy-to-use interface really helps to move the industry forward.
Keeping the Customer in Focus:
“If you think about all the companies that everybody admires, they all start with final customer experience and work the technology backwards.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the technology behind conversational design.
And while the technology is important, if your primary focus is not the customer, you can spend a lot of time developing the tech or even building out the capabilities, only to end up with a terrible user experience.
To create a great user experience, you’ve got to start with the customer and work the technology backwards.
And because Botsociety allows marketers and salespeople to understand the design process, they can provide input to make sure you’re staying customer centric throughout the design process.
When you start with the customer in mind, and when you’re not just relying on a developer to create the experience, things get magical for the final user.
AI is More Than Cost Reduction:
Unfortunately, people often think of AI, automation, and bots as nothing more than cost reduction.
Instead of having a high-cost employee deal with a certain task, companies outsource that task to a bot.
And while there is value in that approach, there’s a lot more value available if you focus on the upside of a better customer experience, or even things like cross-selling or upselling.
So, while a lot of people start by looking to drive operational efficiency through cost reduction, they quickly realize that AI helps to deliver more than that.
That’s when they start looking for other places to leverage the technology to deliver a better or differentiated experience.
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